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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.

 


 

Sensory Workout Project

On behalf of Aptus Treatment Centre, the Sensory Workout Project is pleased to share the following series of training videos for staff, families and people supported. Learn about adding sensory to fitness to help it be more engaging and beneficial. Each series comes with activity videos for each topic, including how-to dancing, stretching, etc.

 

Check out the Sensory Workout YouTube Channel, which includes all of the training videos. More activity videos will be added soon. 

 

Here are topic-specific video playlists:

 

Module 1: Intro to Sensory Workout, Fitness Goals, Outcomes & Safety

 

Email [email protected] with any questions. 

Leah Bowman at 12:30 PM
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LCOworks

LCOworks is a free online program that supports positive employment outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities, a traditionally underrepresented and at-risk population in the labour market.

 

Everyone deserves a chance to find meaningful employment and we are proud to be able to provide this program for free to individuals across Ontario.

 

Visit the LCOworks Program Webpage at www.lifecourseonline.com/lcoworks

 

Email to apply or learn more at: [email protected]

For more details on this program, click here.

Leah Bowman at 12:11 PM
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Lutherwood Blog-Employment & Housing blogs

Check out the most recent editions of the Lutherwoods 

Employment blog: How to Increase your Health and Safety Training?
Housing blog: Additional Housing Search Websites

Leah Bowman at 12:03 PM
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Everyone is REALLY Awesome

By Cristina Stanger, Self-Advocacy Liaison, WRFN
*This article was originally published in the Family Pulse Newsletter May 2022*

 

Sometimes you come across a product that speaks to you. I really like the “Everyone is Awesome” Lego® set (40516) for the messages of inclusion and diversity it represents. I purchased it as a shared-activity for my children that would facilitate discussions about race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. My seven-year-old built the wall, my four-year-old assembled the people, and we engaged in important conversations. I chalked it up to a win.

 

 

But as we built it, I kept feeling like the idea could have gone farther. There was a clear lack of disability representation, and that seemed to me like a missed opportunity. Afterall, it is said that nearly a third of all people will experience disability at some point in their lifetime. So I determined that at least 4 of the 11 figures needed a visible exceptionality (although in reality many are invisible, like mine). I started wondering if I could modify my set to be more inclusive of those with exceptionalities, in addition to the marginalised groups already being celebrated.


It wasn’t long before I was pouring over Lego® sets online looking for accessories I could incorporate. Some sets did have one or two disability-related pieces, but I wanted to take the idea farther, so I settled on ordering piece-meal through eBay. Seeing how many different exceptionalities I could represent with the 11 figures was a fun challenge. And thus, my little passion project was born. #EveryoneIsREALLYAwesome.
 
You may have seen some of these images on our WRFN media feeds already, and I would  like to walk you through the modifications I made and my logic behind them:

 

 

You’ll notice that I did not change the background at all as these coloured stripes carry strong meaning for the communities they represent, and they are well understood within society as a whole.

 

 

I rearranged the components of the figures, because after all, we are not one dimensional, and some people will identify with more than one of the represented groups. I did, however, keep the hand and face components paired together to be more in keeping with race representation.

 

 

I spread the figures out, because I needed to create physical space for the tools and support needs of those with disabilities. In a way, it is also a metaphorical space for our exceptional needs which are so often overlooked or ignored. I felt this “flying geese” formation generated a nice sense of community as well.

 

 

In the end I modified eight of the 11 figures.

  • Service dog - visual impairment, hearing impairment, emotional support needs, etc.
  • Backpack - medical equipment, homelessness
  • Hat with visor and ear protection - sensory sensitivities, autism
  • Wheelchair - physical disability
  • Helmet - personal safety needs
  • Tablet - augmentative communication device
  • Hand removed - congenital difference, amputation
  • Cane - visual impairment, physical disability

And I like to think that the remaining three figures have invisible exceptionalities such as Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD, schizophrenia, or chronic pain.

And here is the end result:

 

 

As a person with invisible exceptionalities, I am still on the lookout for signs of inclusion and representation in businesses and organizations. If they welcome and support other under represented groups, they will likely welcome and support my neurodivergent self as well. Waterloo Region Family Network plans to display this customized set in our new office in the near future, so please check it out the next time you visit!

You are seen. You are valued.

Leah Bowman at 11:12 AM
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Family Pulse-May 2022

Welcome to May! 

 

Inside the May issue of Family Pulse you will find information on:

SEAC Updates

Everyone is REALLY Awesome

A New Chapter
What's Happening at WRFN
Community Info, Resources & Opportunities

 

You can read the online version of Family Pulse here or download a pdf copy. 

Leah Bowman at 11:07 AM
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